Why UK intersex advocate Dawn Vago can’t testify at the UN in Geneva

Zwischengeschlecht.org on FacebookToday Tuesday 26 February 2019, 10-13h CET + 15-17h CET (= 9am-noon UK time + 2pm-4pm UK time) the UK’s human rights record will be examined by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in Geneva – to be transmitted LIVE on webtv.un.org!

IntersexUK’s Dawn Vago, co-rapporteur of the Thematic Intersex NGO Reports, was scheduled to testify before the Committee in Geneva. Unfortunately, this wasn’t meant to be. Below Dawn explains why, and what this has to do with her being an IGM survivor (taken from an email to fellow UK NGOs present in Geneva):

I am Dawn Vago from IntersexUK and the designated speaker on behalf of the Intersex NGO Coalition, and I’d like to second Daniela’s email, as I am not ok and have not agreed to not getting speaking time.

I recently sustained significant injuries from a fall (shattered eye socket and cheekbone, fractured wrist, broken rib) which have kept me from beeing as vocal in the email chain that I would I have liked to have been, and which unfortunately will prevent me from travelling to Geneva without further injuring my health. However, I will follow the session remotely.

Unfortunately, the severity of my injuries is a direct consequence of having been submitted to intersex genital mutilation, namely the removal of vital hormone producing organs (gonadectomy) at age 8, of which a known complication is osteoporosis (weak bones), from which I have been suffering since 2005.

I am desperately trying to find someone else to come and speak from IntersexUK but time is short and in case we can’t find anybody, IntersexUK officially designates our co-rapporteur Daniela Truffer to speak on my behalf.

We must be allowed to speak out about our grievances during the public briefing, as the UK continues to illegally perform intersex genital mutilation against past UN condemnations. For example I just heard that a young intersex girl age 7 underwent gonadectony at my local hospital not so long ago, and being told the same cancer risk lie they told my parents 30 years ago! AND my adopted son was also told he needed his penis surgically ‘corrected’ on and his female body parts removed for no other reason than cosmetic purposes only less than 1 year ago.The UK has not moved on, and we desperately need IGM to stop!

I plea with you to allow us adequate time to speak and not silence us the same way surgeons and society silence us in the UK. We understand the value of everyone else’s voice but we cant sit by unnoticed. Please help.

Best regards and respect

Dawn Vago

>>> UK > NHS Doctor admits to performing Intersex Genital Mutilation
>>> Timeline CEDAW UK 2018-19

2019-CAT-UK-NGO-Coalition-Intersex-IGMIntersex Genital Mutilations in the UK: 2019 CAT Report
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Reprod. Anatomy
IGM in the UK •  Stats • Complicity of the State • Inhuman Treatment
>>> Download as PDF (679 kb)

2019-CEDAW-UK-NGO-Coalition-Intersex-IGMIGM in the UK: 2019 Follow-Up Report
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Reprod. Anatomy
Impunity • International IGM Networks in the UK • Testimonies
>>> Download as PDF (430 kb)

See also:
‘Only the Fear of the Judge Will Make IGM Perpetrators Change’
“Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
40 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting …
UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC): IGM = Harmful Practice + Violence
UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
UN Women’s Rights Committee (CEDAW): IGM = Harmful Practice
UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD): Violation of Integrity
UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) condemns IGM Practices

Intersex Genital Mutilations • 17 Most Common Forms
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Sex Anatomy
IGM – Historical Overview • What is Intersex? • How Common is IGM?
>>> Download PDF (3.65 MB)     >>> Table of Contents

IGM as a Harmful Practice: 2015 UN-CRC Briefing
• IGM: A Survivor’s Perspective • Intersex Movement History
• What are Variations of Sex Anatomy?  • What are IGM Practices?
• IGM and Human Rights  • Conclusion: IGM is a Harmful Practice
>>> Download PDF (3.14 MB)     >>> Table of Contents

Eliminating IGM practices by holding the perpetrators accountable via well-established applicable human rights frameworks, including Inhuman Treatment and Harmful Practices – Presentation @ UN expert meeting on Intersex Human Rights
>>> Download PDF (831kb)

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